On July 5, 2016, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NASDAQ: BMY) acquired the privately-held, Sweden-based Cormorant Pharmaceuticals AB for $95 million. The driver behind this acquisition was gaining full rights to Cormorant’s HuMax-IL8 antibody program, which may result in an additional $425 million in development and regulatory milestone payments.
Cormorant had acquired HuMax-IL8 from GenMab A/S in 2012 and has since taken it into development. It is a phase 1/2 monoclonal antibody that offers the potential to boost immune response and increase the effectiveness of existing cancer medicines through combination therapy.
The addition of HuMax-IL8 enhances BMY’s existing pipeline of clinical candidates through its potential synergistic qualities when coupled with other drugs.
Although a leader in immuno-oncology, BMY has been focusing on several other disease areas lately. On March 23, 2016, BMY paid $225 million to acquire privately-held Padlock Therapeutics, Inc. and full rights to its protein/peptidyl arginine deiminase inhibitor discovery program, enabling a potentially transformational approach to treating rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Plus, on February 1, 2016, BMY entered into a joint venture with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to develop and commercialize a blood coagulant in Japan, for $15 million.